“This case began with an inadvertent recording of a conversation among three La Sierra professors Jeffrey Kaatz, James Beach, and Gary Bradley and La Sierra board member Lenny Darnell at the home of James Beach April 20, 2011. During the conversation the men were crudely critical of church officials, including NAD president Dan Jackson and NAD education secretary Larry Blackmer…” (Link)
Originally, this situation developed because many of the professors at LSU had been actively promoting Darwinian evolution as the true story of origins in their classrooms – in direct conflict with the position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on the issue of origins. The self-recorded conversation of the LSU-3 was about how to deal with the church’s attempts to “interfere” with what they were teaching their students – over a little bit of whisky.
After the LSU-3 inadvertently recorded their conversation and then unwittingly released it in a public forum (from which it was rapidly and widely distributed), they were given the opportunity to resign – which they all did. Of course, they later sued the church and the school for this, but their case was dismissed (after they spent around $250,000 in legal fees) by Judge Edward D. Webster. So, they appealed the judgment, and their appeal has been pending now for nearly a year. However, this past Monday the NAD released a statement that the “LSU-3” had finally dropped their appeal:
By the three plaintiffs dismissing their appeal, the case is ended with Judge Webster’s ruling, dismissing the case, becoming final. The plaintiffs were not paid any money to dismiss the appeal.
“We are grateful that this lawsuit has ended and that the church and La Sierra University can focus all of our attention and resources to the quality education of our students,” said Daniel Jackson, president of the North American Division.